People in Pakistan are obsessed with media. From teenagers to retired bureaucrats, everyone is glued to their television sets at prime time, not watching a movie or a TV serial, rather for some odd reason we find entertainment in political talk shows that are aired at prime time. Media houses, who have a maniacal obsession with making the news fun and entertaining have reduced us to watchers, viewers rather obedient consumers. They have stunted our personal life. Instead of interacting with real people now we are interacting with programmed content. I think watching less TV makes us read more, think more, write more and create more.
Coming to the issue of Malala, Pakistani media has played a major role in turning an innocent girl into a villain and has provided the ‘conservatives’ an opportunity to jump in and do some political point scoring of their own while putting the life of an innocent girl in danger. Same goes for the ‘liberals’ who used Malala to bash the TTP and their apologists, not thinking what impact will it have over Malala. Too much air time has made people suspicious about the attack on her. Some are calling it a False Flag operation by the CIA, some even call Malala a CIA foot soldier in their propaganda war against the Muslims while some some go as far as calling Malala a Zionist and the attack a Zionist conspiracy because Madonna (she is considered a symbol of Zionism) had dedicated a song for Malala and had Malala’s name tattooed on her back.
Conservatives in our society have been transformed into puppets in control of their fascistic leaders who will obey whatever they are told. They will happily offer ‘Ghaibaana Namaz e Janaza’ for a man who was responsible for killing thousands of Muslims, but ask them to support a girl who was shot in her head because she wanted education for girls, they will come up with something like ‘But her ideal is Barrack Obama’. So basically they want her to idealize a man who has killed Muslims and claims to be a Muslim but they cannot tolerate her idealizing a non Muslim who has also killed Muslims. Then they will say but why just Malala and not the others. Tell them why the ‘Ghaibana Namaz e Janaza’ for just Osama and not the others and then there is SILENCE.
The liberals, well they talk about education for women, equal rights for women and what not but you’ll never hear them talk against the fashion and cosmetics industries and their banal formulations of human images. They will never talk about the incessant attacks of these industries on women’s self-image and propagation of false ideals. You will never hear them talk against prostitution and the porn industry, sick businesses that legitimise systematic violence against women. So I assume they are satisfied with the sexist system in place, which works to objectify women economically, sexually, socially and psychologically.
Both, the ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ via the media (social, electronic & print) have shown a completely distorted image of Malala’s personality. For the conservatives, Malala is someone who is against the Burqa and Jihad (false propaganda) and idealizes Barrack Obama. For the liberals, Malala is someone who opposes religion and pakhtun culture.
Both are wrong in their perception of Malala. Malala has more to her than these people think. From what I have read about Malala, she is someone who mobilizes others by setting an example, by showing the world that women are just as important as anyone else. She wants to revolutionize the world around her by being a symbol of rebellion against all forms of oppression. She does not occupy herself with how her ‘femininity’ is evaluated by others. She is someone who understands the importance of political resistance and teaches it to others. She is a true Pakhtun girl and a no lesser Muslim.